Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October 25

I work on my secret crazy project, successfully moving the heavy object back to the shops and just a bit self-satisfied at how procrastination has led to a least for moving it.

I take the midday hours to work on specimen boxes.  Then, I head out upriver.

It is an extraordinary fall day.  The leaves have turned and gold bands and smears are all around.  As I walk the river road towards the north fields a bald eagle and I are surprised to find each other just 20 feet apart.  I don't know what that eagle was doing, but there was no way I could sneak up on it with all of my crunching through the down leaves.

I find a BIG cat track near the USGS river gauge.  I take a cast that captures both the front and hind paws.

I head to the upper beach.
I haven't been here in well over a month.  It is smaller today with the higher water that rain from the preceding days has brought.  Like the lower beach, there are dead salmon all around.  But, there are fewer sand and silt patches for visitors to leave a record in.  I spot a large coyote track and a 3-toed bird track that I do not recognize (goose like except for no webbing). 
spawning humpies aren't good looking when they are alive

Map note- it is 32 strides from the middle of the cottonwood posts to the river bank.

I march back across the field.  I notice a clearing above the road as I return.  Something to investigate later...something you never notice, and then you do.

I continue working in the shop until the sun drops below the ridge.  After dinner, I clean off the BIG cat track so that I can see the pads clearly and measure the lengths and widths.  It is a cougar track.  It makes my day.

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